Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Way Back Wednesday - The Exorcist

The Exorcist is a 1973 American horror film adapted from the 1971 novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty. It is about the demonic possession of a young girl, and her mother’s desperate attempts to win back her daughter through an exorcism conducted by two priests.

The film features Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow and Jason Miller. Both the film and novel took inspirations from a documented exorcism in 1949, performed on a 14-year-old boy. The film is one of a cycle of 'demonic child' movies produced in the late 1960s and early 1970s, including The Omen and Rosemary's Baby.

The film became one of the most profitable horror films of all time, grossing over $402 million worldwide. The film earned ten Academy Award nominations — winning two, one for Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay.

In the central storyline, Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) notices dramatic and dangerous changes in the behavior and physical make-up of her twelve year-old daughter Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair). Regan first starts out by having seizure, but then exhibits strange, unnatural powers, including levitation and great strength, and often expresses vulgar language and blasphemy in a demonic male voice during these periods.

I must admit, I was not old enough to see this movie when it first came out - I was 11 year old - but I do remember all the hype surrounding it. I was able to read the book when I was 12, after "borrowing" it from my babysitter's teenage daughter. Okay, so I took it without permission, but I did return it before it was missed. The book gave me nightmares for weeks!

I was in my late 20s when I finally got to see the movie, and since then I have watched the extended, version you've never seen before, many times. It still remains one of the scariest movies I've ever watched.

The spooky "spider-walk" scene was cut from the original version, but later digitally remastered for the extended release


mrsb said...

That movie scared the living bageebus out of me when I first saw it! Of course I was about 6 (now there is some good parenting, lol!)

Shadows of the goddess designs said...

can NOT do scary movies...I never saw this one ..I saw 'gremlins" about half way thru one time and had horrible nightmares for weeks..NOPE!!

Julia Smith said...

This is definitely a film classic. It's seriously unnerving, which is often lacking in most horror movies for me.

Did you see 'Dominion' (the prequel to 'The Exorcist')? There was another one, too, and my husband and I watched both, but 'Dominion' is the superior film for me.